Critical Reflection Paper #2

Submitted By hannahweinmaster
Words: 1597
Pages: 7

1. I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but have lived in Lincoln, Nebraska for the past 17 years of my life. My parents and I came as refugees from the civil war that lasted from 1992-1995.
2. I am fluent in both English and Bosnian.
3. I go back to visit Bosnia every few years; I went back this summer by myself for the first time and it made me really appreciate my family there the most. I really miss seeing my grandparents and my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
4. I personally adjust well to the US because I was very young and absorbed all the new information. My parents however encountered problems economically and socially. They had absolutely no money and no friends here; they had to start from scratch.
5. Since we've moved here, Lincoln has developed a pretty big Bosnian community. The city served as a sort of "safe harbor" for the refugees that came. My parents are very good friends with the Bosnians here and I've grown up around the culture. They obviously have their friends and family from back home though, so we talk to them as often as possible.
6. People in Bosnia like the way that the US system of government is supposed to work, but they too see the problems we encounter with gridlock in Congress and the like. They understand that it's flawed, but respect it at the same time.
7. They think that America is very close-minded when it comes to foreign policy. They believe that American politicians are somewhat like bullies; that our politicians assume that everyone "needs" them to "help."
8. I've heard them claim that American politicians are egotistical and kind of nosy.
9. The economy in Bosnia is not good. It's worse than America's, but they also understand that America's economy also has its problems. They feel that if Americans complain about the economy, it's not half as bad as what's going in Bosnia.
10. The government in Bosnia is weird. Due to the Dayton Treaty that ended the civil war, the country has three presidents (that rotate every so often) to represent the three main (and warring) nationalities: Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian. However, because of this, NOTHING GETS DONE. Every one of them is stubborn and wants things to be done their way, so there is no progress in terms of the economy, the foreign policy, the healthcare, etc.
11. I'm not really sure how to answer this question. I haven't really talked to anyone about it. But I think they support a lot of the revolutions because they know what it's like to have their civil rights violated.
12. Bosnian food is awesome/weird: they eat a lot of lamb and beef (no pork because the majority of Bosnians are Muslim), a lot of potatoes and a lot of dairy. It would be easy to get fat if they didn't walk so much. There's also something to do every night. In Sarajevo, my hometown, (and many others like it), there are cafes that line the streets and ice cream shops and bakeries open 24/7. Everyone is very "chill" about life and talk mostly about sports, religion, and the people they know. Almost everyone in the city lives in an apartment and has a "weekend house" somewhere in the mountains that they retreat to on vacations. These are usually farms or cabins where there is a lot of land or at least room to garden and plant veggies. It's a very simple lifestyle: no wifi or cell phone service so they're not bothered by the hubbub of city life.
13. When it comes to politics, most Bosnians know that they're government is flawed, however they find it easier to blame others (specifically those of Serbian or Croatian nationalities), rather than speak up and have their voice be heard. They are very logical though, and would like to see a simpler, more democratic version of the political system sometime soon.

The person I interviewed is a close family friend that I have come to know well over the years. I have become close friends with this individual, who is a few years older than me, and her younger sister. As I have come to know them, I realize